The 88NV Burning Man Airport in Black Rock City is Open for 13 Days of the Year: The Ultimate Destination

As another August rolls around, the Black Rock City Airport (88NV) in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, US, prepares for this year’s Burning Man festival. Open for just 13 days, the temporary airport flies festival goers and staff alike into the ‘uncontrolled field’ to attend the nine-day event.

An aerial shot of 88NV Black Rock City Airport in the Black Rock City Desert, Nevada, open for 13 days of the year
An aerial shot of 88NV Black Rock City Airport in the Black Rock City Desert, Nevada, open for 13 days of the year, ready to welcome Burning Man festival-goers © Black Rock City Municipal Airport

How it works

For 11 months of the year, the 88NV airport is unrecognisable; however, for that single month, the 3,912-foot elevated airport is comprised of two 6,000-foot runways on the dry bed of the desert. As there is no control tower, pilots use their radios to communicate with other aircrafts to ensure a safe, smooth landing, with staff on the ground reporting up-to-date wind speeds and reports of traffic.

History of 88NV Black Rock City Airport

Since 1991, Burning Man has welcomed planes in at their own risk, using their own judgement to land; however, in 1996, Lissa Shoun (known as Tiger Tiger) became the first pilot to have radio-assisted landing, leading her to become the airport’s manager in 1999. Each year, the Burning Man community strived to improve the airport, and in 2008, it became a recognised temporary airport, and as of 2010, was designated ‘88NV’ as it was issued as an official airport, appearing on official charts in 2011.

Fortunately, what may be deemed quite an unconventional, hazardous way of transporting people into and out of the Black Rock Desert, has only resulted in a single incident. A pilot was tuned into the wrong radio frequency and landed in the wrong location while also forgetting to lower the landing gear. Nobody was injured; however, the aircraft’s wings were damaged and consequently removed.

Burning Man Festival goers in the Black Rock City desert, Nevada
Burning Man Festival goers in the Black Rock City desert, Nevada, also the location of the 88NV Black Rock City Airport ©Arash Afshar

Flying and arriving for Burning Man

Unfortunately, if you have not secured your tickets, you will not be welcomed into the airport as no tickets are available to buy upon arrival, resulting in a wasted trip and plans to return the following year. However, if you were lucky enough to secure a ticket, you should expect to be greeted by a Customs Agent to provide information and security checks to ensure no illegal substances are brought into the event.

While flying into a festival in a chartered aircraft may seem lavish, the Burning Man Project website claims not to expect a ‘cushy service’, expressing its lack of vending machines and taxi services available. This may seem to some unseasoned Burning Man attendees like something one would have likely encountered at the failed Fyre Festival; however, for seasoned Burning Man veterans, is likely to only add to the utopian-like event.

Burning Man begins on 27 August 2023.

Have you ever flown into Black Rock City Airport, or would like to? Let us know in the comments below!

Subscribe to our Weekly Digest!

More News

Minimum Ticket Price Proposal Meets Backlash From Ryanair

The Transport Minister of France, Clément Beaune, has proposed...

Turkish Airlines Grounds More Than 10 Planes Amid Engine Inspection Concerns

Due to component concerns, Turkish Airlines has announced plans...

Singapore Airlines’ Financial Performance Results in Profit in First Quarter 2023

Singapore Airlines' financial performance continues to remain in the...

Turkish Airlines’ Financial Performance Results in Profit in Its Second Quarter 2023

Turkish Airlines’ financial performance continues in the profit zone...
Romy Simpson
Romy Simpson
Romy is a final-year Criminology student at the University of Bristol, with a passion for investigative journalism. Utilising her skills learned throughout her degree, curious mindset and a newfound respect for travel after a year-long study abroad placement in Australia, Romy writes with these factors at the forefront of her mind.